In a rematch of their 2009 encounter Dominick Cruz once again emerged victorious by unanimous decision against Joseph Benavidez to retain his bantamweight title.
It was a closely fought fight through all five rounds but as in their previous meeting Cruz’s speed, footwork and ability to secure timely takedown’s proved decisive.
Benavidez had his moments though, finding some success with body shots and leg kicks, and in particular a knee from the clinch in the fourth round that opened up a large gash on his opponents nose.
In the end his failure to get a hold of the elusive champion and take him down was the major downfall in his performance, and when the final bell rang there was little doubt that Cruz would be the man leaving the cage with the belt.
All credit to Benavidez for putting in another tough, gutsy performance but having now lost twice to the champion he’s now in a slightly awkward place in the bantamweight division. Given his size a move to 125lbs, if the WEC ever get round to opening up that weight class, would undoubtedly be a no-brainer for him.
As for Cruz, this fight showed that he can keep up his energetic style of fighting for a full five rounds and he’s going to be tough to dislodge from the top of the 135lb division. Next up for him is likely to be Scott Jorgensen who came out on top in a barnburner with Brad Pickett earlier in the evening to go five fights unbeaten.
“I rank among the best in the world, There’s not a doubt in my mind,” Cruz said after the fight, and based on his recent performances it’s hard to argue with him.